Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CBMW disagrees with the founding basis of Intervarsity

To be fair, you did mix two articles there. Robinson is pointing out that complementarian thought is singled out as counter IV (by those in IV) while open theism is being allowed in (and embraced by some there). Stiles is saying that IV is leaving it’s fundamental gospel-centric roots. As a matter of fact, with the sole exception of the following line:

An egalitarian stand on women in ministry is so sacrosanct that complementarians are unwelcome in IV.

Stiles’ article is devoid of egalitarian/complentarian comparison and focuses solely on IV’s (beginning of a) departure from "follow[ing] the outline of God, Man, Christ, Response."

I have to say that it’s disappointing to see such a miscommunication on your part. It seems that you are trying to discredit someone fallaciously.

New Comment

I said nothing about you focusing on one sole issue. I don’t find it offensive even though you might (although at that point, you might ask yourself your own question from a couple of comments ago). What I was trying to point out is that you state in your ending paragraph:

Stiles appears to forget that the roots of InterVarsity in North America were always egalitarian.

But nowhere does Stiles argue that the roots of IV are not egalitarian. His whole essay was that the roots of IV are rooted in the gospel and that they have tracked away from that. You took the “roots” information from the CBMW article and then erringly attached the CMBW article (and, I suppose, argument) to Stiles. You indicate with the connecting line that Stile’s article is saying that IV is leaning egalitarian now, leaving its roots. The thing is that nowhere in his essay does Stiles argue that IV’s roots are not egalitarian. His whole argument is that IV’s roots are in the Gospel and given their inclusion of Roman Catholics, a mantra of “deeds not creeds” and embracing McClaren, Bell, Chalke, etc.

You make a fallacious claim because you set up with an article by a different author who argues that IV should allow complentarian views to be represented and end with Stiles’ ending paragraph about IV’s abandoning its gospel-centric roots, but saying that Stiles denies IV’s egalitarian roots. Stiles’ argument had nothing to do with the CBMW article or its argument.

New Comment

I agree mostly, actually (‘cept I’m on the other side of the egal/comp line). But many to most would argue that since it is a non-salvific issue, it is a “tier 2” issue that should be dealt with in the church (sorry for the dangling prep), not in a parachurch ministry. I think that is Robinson’s argument. Plus, if one stakes a claim on comp/egal being a delineation that IV holds as not salvation-oriented, but just a tick below and would therefore be dangerous, it would stand to reason that open theism (Pinnock and Boyd) and trajectory hermeneutics (Webb) would fall in that same category, given they are at odds with a biblical view of God and the claims of the bible itself (or so I would see it).

Of course, that is a tad at odds with IVP’s publisher Bob Fryling:
"A great step forward on this would be to not vilify the opposing position as being unbiblical but in humility to recognize that different, very mature believers come to different convictions that should be discussed in an atmosphere of mutual respect for each other and the Word of God."

In the end, I do agree with Robinson in that a parachurch organization should be less inclined to elevate any tier two church issue to tier one (which, in the end, it sounds like IV does…..though I have very little experience with IV at all outside of anecdotal).

Compared with Stiles’ argument that there is confusion over the gospel, a “deeds not creeds” mentality (social gospel), that ”all the while IVP cranks out books that promote the same theology loved by my old religion department and chip away at the very foundation on which IV's mission stands…. books on open theism and postmodern contextualization.

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You said:

…in that one gender can prevent another gender from using their God given talents to preach, lead, teach, to expand the Kingdom of God.

I would say that isn’t true (I know, you’re shocked ;-). Just to cut to the chase, women aren’t barred from preaching, teaching or expanding the Kingdom of God in a complentarian view. Within the church? Yes, there are limitations God placed. And I know you don’t agree, but just because one doesn’t get to use her (or his) gifts the way she (or he) desires doesn’t mean it is a prevention of the expansion of the Kingdom of God nor does it mean that it is an offensive prohibition.

I know you see it as a human-derived……nay, a man-derived (ha ha) argument, but complentarity is biblically-based, i.e. God can prevent. As in God can prevent me from being an elder, God can prevent the Israelites from choosing a priest from any clan, God can prevent me from marrying a non-believer, etc.

New Comment


I appreciate the surrejoinder in the post after this one. Just to make sure that I didn't draw attention from the point of my rejoinder (though, I suppose, I cannot technically make a rejoinder), I thought I would revisit it here. You accuse Stiles of being ignorant of the founding egalitarian climate of IV and is somehow tying his argument to CBMW and/or complementarianism. Given your language (I find it astonishing that he could have worked for.....), it appears you are trying to simply discredit Stiles' in an attempt to then render his argument invalid. That is what I would say is a fallacious evaluation on your part given he makes no argument whatsoever that denies an egalitarian root.

If you hold to Open Theism or Traj. Herm., that's fine, state so and engage those points. In fact, you began to engage his argument in your recent post (though you are still trying to combine the two arguments). Your claim against him here (that he is claiming the roots of IV are not egal) is simply false.

New Comment

Yes, it is an extremely important issue (I agree with Robinson that it reflects one’s view of Christ to us). And the parachurch must allow or not allow women in ministry (thus thrusting their core view to the center). As a parachurch, though, IV is, in essence, calling themselves a denominational ministry (i.e. taking a sacrosanct view of egalitarianism to the exclusion of other bible-based views…….all the while affirming, in a way, open theism). That seems at odds with IV (the way I understand it wants to function) as a parachurch organization that doesn’t espouse one view and demonizing another. I agree on a level with Sue’s connection (though tenuous) between allowing women in leadership positions and complementarian teaching. Meaning allowing complementarian teaching would strain IV’s egalitarian stance (and possibly cause confusion). Or that’s how I understand it. Great stuff, Blake!

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